When Waters Rise
Photo by:Philipp Baumann
Right now, the waters in Houston and along the southern part of Texas are rising.
Hurricane Harvey has hit, and the rainfall is not slowing down.
But this isn't new to us. Storms like this have come before. We see them coming. We have watched them as they grew stronger and stronger. And then before we know it, they're tearing through every part of our lives we once held on to.
It's storms like these that remind us that our world is broken. And that everything we hold onto for life and security can all be ripped away in a matter of seconds.
Because when waters rise and winds rip, we can't save ourselves anymore.
And when thousands have to be rescued and innocent lives are taken, right and wrong are no longer a question; all of a sudden they become very clear.
It's the storms in life that remind us that we aren't in control.
But all of our storms don't come with massive rainfall or unbearable wind gusts.
Sometimes the most destructive storms of all are the ones that we've created for ourselves.
My storm was a whirling category 5 of achievement driven, pleasure seeking, and acceptance based performance that left me empty and isolated.
The waters of life would rise and so I'd drink one too many drinks and tell myself I was living it up. And I would surround myself by people who accepted that I was living it up and this was the life we were supposed to be living in college.
I surrounded myself by people who accepted me instead of by people who made me better.
And then I would do and accomplish everything I was supposed to so that people I respected would still brag on me and tell me I was doing a good job even though deep down I knew that I was living a double life.
And the waters of life kept rising. My circumstances would change or challenges would come and going about things my own way were not keeping me afloat anymore.
I was tired of swimming for my life, just hoping I could keep going long enough until the waters would finally stop rising.
And then, like a rescue boat at a shipwreck, Jesus finally became real to me.
I finally heard Him say, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
And while I still struggle and sometimes flounder around in the rising waters on my own, I no longer am a slave to acceptance of others, achievement, or temporary pleasures.
Jesus now keeps me above the rising waters.
There's a quote accredited to Mr. Rogers that says when bad things are happening, "Look for the helpers."
When waters rise, we are all reminded that we need The Helper.
Join me now, and let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Houston:
God, I thank you for technology and the ability we have to connect through blogs and social media. I thank you that we can see first hand what our friends are going through in the southern parts of Texas and that we can visibly SEE that we NEED to be praying for them. That we can see their needs and do our best to meet them. Lord, I pray that you would surround these people by your peace and comfort and that you would make your presence known to them. That YOU would provide for them and meet their every need. Be their rock and their refuge, Lord. And for those in Houston and the southern parts of Texas who do not know you Lord, and who do not know what your son Jesus did for them on the cross, I pray that you would miraculously use this catastrophic event to make your son Jesus real to them, to make salvation real to them, and to bring them to you Lord. Show the people of Houston and the people of America that our true hope is not in our homes or our belongings but in the hope of eternal life through your son Jesus. And it is in His name we pray, Amen.